Monday, February 27, 2012

"He had been to places that people had written books about, and they were not a bit like the descriptions. To see for yourself—that was the great thing; he always tried to see for himself."

washington square by henry james. page 22.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

it's another beautiful monday here in bangkok.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

dear thailand,

thank you.

i'm not a huge khao san fan, but i must admit that on certain occasions where i come here to run an errand, it's sometimes nice to have a drink alone at one of its tucked-away bars.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"I am not trying to make myself sound right and noble. I am telling the truth."

the autobiography of malcolm x as told to alex haley. page 299

i'm sad to say that i am near the book's end.

i had been thinking about reading this book for quite some time now, and when i went to the bookstore to check it out, what finally made me want to read it was part of the foreword that was written by malcolm x's daughter, attallah shabazz. in it, she writes, "my father's life story stands alongside such monumental works as The Diary of Anne Frank and others," so there was no way i couldn't feel especially intrigued after that.

i'm happy to report that the book does not disappoint to the comparison, and malcolm x's biography is truly inspiring. from his humble beginnings in lansing to his life-transforming stint in prison to become a leader in the nation of islam, his journey is remarkable. it's difficult to refute a lot of what malcolm x speaks of in his autobiography, especially when it comes to his views on the reality of american history. and so i completely understand and empathize with his message and what he preached---and really admire him as a man who made a difference..

Monday, February 20, 2012

"Everybody with legs would come out to see any performer who bore the magic name, 'New York.'"

the autobiography of malcolm x by as told to alex haley. page 29.
sometimes, you have to be tougher than you thought you could be.

sometimes, you've got to find courage in a place where you didn't know existed.

sometimes, you learn that people are not capable of providing what you thought they could.

everyone is truly alone in this world. and even in solitude, life goes on.

Friday, February 17, 2012

here is today's WHO CARES.

the weather here in bangkok is starting to swelter again. april is the hottest time of year for this region, and it's also when the nation's most celebrated annual holiday, thai new year, takes place. since i pretty much usually always walking or am walking to and from taking public transportation, i've been literally coming home drenched in sweat from the bts stations for the past few days. and when i mean drenched, my shirt is soaked and sweat is dripping off my chin. sometimes my uncontrollable sweating can get annoying, but oftentimes i don't mind it because it's really helping my skin. today was overall a good day though because when i got to the cool youngish mom's house, i miraculously wasn't dripping in sweat like usual. then later on i went to the largest book store in bangkok, the kinokuniya at one of the major malls here, and the book i wanted to buy was slightly damaged, so i received a 10% discount after inquiring about it---score, with my ฿24 discount. i can't seem to concentrate on reading just one thing nowadays, so i've been jumping between different books and magazines. i know i really need to stop doing that because i think it's just not right. when i was using the bathroom today in a different mall, the button off my pants popped off and fell into the urinal. that was a first, and i thought about retrieving the button i've known for four years, but i decided it would be probably best to just let go. i watched the iron lady the other night, and really thought it was a great film. i love me some meryl streep in character. it started playing last friday at my favorite theater, scala, and as always i sat in my favorite seat, U5. the theatre started playing the descendants today and i caught the evening showing. the film had some good moments, and it really made me depressed about dying, but overall i wasn't a huge fan. some of the characters' actions in the movie annoyed me as well. i've been having a lot of dreams about my old neighborhood back in queens, flushinggg, and they've all been so odd. i always wake up feeling really weird, and like i really want to go check out all the places i used to hang out at. i've actually avoided going back for quite awhile because i don't think i'm ready, but hopefully i will be when i do actually return to nyc. ah, flushing...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

trippy shit that possesses quality is the stuff i live for.

i wish track #2 of this album could play in the background of my life at all times.

philip glass, you are truly the man...

why do so many people in asia try to act all fucking "cutesy" all the time?

i understand when teenagers act this way, but i'm talking about GROWN ASS ADULTS who act all cutesy-wootsy like an eleven year old girl who doesn't know any better. from age-innapproriate (and extremely tacky) clothes to posing for photos like goddamn idiots, i noticed that so many adults conducted themselves this way in korea, and thailand seems to be no different.

it's really difficult to take these types of people seriously sometimes.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

i turned 29 today.

it's a bit scary to think that this is my last year in my 20's, so i'm adamant on making it the best year i've ever had.

one of the ways i wanted to start off differently was to not just get shit-face-plastered with random acquaintances and friends at some bar.

instead, my only close friend remaining here in bangkok, and i went on an overnight trip to the beach. it was really great to get away from the hustle of bangkok, and it was actually my first time going to a beach since i arrived in thailand.

we rode the bus from the city and after an hour-and-a-half, arrived at bang saen in the evening. we found a hotel that was right by the beach and booked a room with an amazing view from its balcony. afterwards, we had dinner and drinks at a local restaurant, and decided to forgo taking a taxi back to our hotel.

instead, we walked back to our hotel on the beach. with our feet being massaged by the soft sand and warm water, we talked the entire time with beers in our hands. we also seized moments to soak in our surroundings and looked at the stars and ocean as we took our time during the hour-and-a-half stroll back. it was nice because the beach was filled with local kids just playing in the water, hanging out and setting off fireworks---and watching them go about their saturday nights really made me happy. i realized that this must be the spot where all the neighborhood kids of bang saen go to see and be seen, and that every place in the world has their own versions of what these settings are.

when i woke up the next morning, i don't think i've ever waken up to such a beautiful sight on my birthday. the weather was just heavenly and the ocean shimmered like a mirror.

unfortunately though, the camera i was using stopped working the evening before just as we started dinner. even though i don't have many pictures from the evening (with the last three being taken with my friend's iphone), it was a great birthday nonetheless, and one that i will never forget.

thank you especially to su 누나 for making it so special.

Friday, February 10, 2012

the cool youngish mother of a student i tutor recently went to culinary school and she has been unstoppable ever since.

she's just so gracious and nice. she's actually been making me all kinds of pastries each time i tutor in her wonderful home, and they've all been really good. from the macaroons to her wide array of cakes, i always tell her how great everything tasted.

this was what she made today. that cake was sponged in the juiciest something that reminded me of caramel and butterscotch. and those scoops of mango, so ripe and fresh.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

as corny as it sounds, i really do have moments all the time where i just look around at my surroundings and can't believe where i am.
i rode a boat-taxi the other day on the chao phraya river, and totally got photo-bombed.

you win, lady.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

"when i usually see you, you are always sweating."

there's a congolese man who lives on the same floor as me, and he said this during small talk in the elevator as i was dripping in sweat.

i don't usually end up talking to anyone who lives in my building, so today was sort of a first. even though it's a small building, i've still never really struck up a conversation with anyone while living here. it's a bit of a mixed building with some international residents like me, but most everyone else is thai. for whatever reason, dialogue has never been sparked in any way between us. i mean there are no issues and we're always cordial and nice, but who knows.

i've lived in my building for almost a year and i know this somewhat neighbor guy of mine hasn't been here very long. but he was very friendly. he even started talking about how both the congo and south korea have heavy diplomatic ties, and that there's a korean presence in congo itself. that was such an unanticipated learning moment, and it made me silently chuckle.
i need to go dancing.

i really need to have a good time.
"Is it good night, is it good morning
Is this real life, are you performing
You're like a vision I can't control
We're in a movie I'm playing a role."

goodnight, good morning by beth ditto

Sunday, February 05, 2012

one of the most saddest things about seeing all of bangkok's street dogs is that even when i try to engage with them, most of them seem terrified or just don't know how to react. i'll click my tongue or whistle to try to get their attention, but they usually run away or only stare back with blank faces.

anyway, here are some more dogs i captured on camera through my daily walks all over the city.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

"Actually, really knowing someone doesn't mean anything. People change. A person may like pineapple today, and something else tomorrow."

said by the awesomely cool drug smuggler lady in wong kar-wai's movie, chungking express

Friday, February 03, 2012

is it foolish to dream? is it so wrong to hope that what i aspire for in my life will actually happen?

being alone in a foreign country can really get to me sometimes... but this is what i've chosen---so i deal with all that comes with it.

i've basically run away and isolated myself from everything and everyone, and here i am in thailand... trying to accomplish my dream. sometimes i feel like everyone i used to know has forgotten about me, but then i think that i should've been careful about what i wished for. the scary thing is, a part of me wants to separate myself even further from the little connections that i do have, because i'd rather just be miserable on my complete own.

it's really difficult to stay constantly optimistic, and convince myself that everything will turn out okay... that my writing will actually get me somewhere in life, or that i'll get my foot in the door to the warehouse of my dreams.

fumes of hope are all i have to keep me going at times, but i tell myself that i have to believe.

i wish i could cry on command and release some of the frustrations within me. i'm just having a moment right now and feel so dejected. but living here has taught me that countless others around the world have way more serious problems than i do, and so humility always cures me of these occasional moments of self-pity.

but sometimes i just wish i had more answers to all the questions in my head.

instead of wishing i had more control over my life and future, all i can do is control what i can, and recycle my fumes of hope for all that remains...

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

"'A person fucks himself up so much,' Colonel Aureliano Buendia said."

one hundred years of solitude by gabriel garcía márquez. page 126.
having bad manners is just plain tacky.